There are certain positive aspects of living in Japan, including toasty kotatsu heater tables, Japanese festivals, and beer vending machines. Japan is less blessed when comes to dental care, however, and gaijin living here generally love to complain about the local dentists. While Japanese dentists are usually good at fixing teeth, they’re famous for making you come back dozens of times to finish your dental work, instead of getting it out of the way in a few visits. (I once had to visit a dentist twice a week for 18 months to complete some semi-complex work, which was no fun at all.) I recently needed to get some dental work done because I was “haganai” — this is the shortened name of I Have Few Friends, which happens to also mean “I am missing a tooth,” sorry for the pun — so I called my new dentist to make an appointment. Before going into the dental office I prepared myself to speak English rather than Japanese, since the dentist’s wife is studying English and loves practicing with me.
I’m not a fan of Japanese dentists.